COVID-19 DOH Testing Lab

Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Department of Health

Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Department of Health

Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Department of Health

Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Department of Health

Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Department of Health

Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Department of Health

Pennsylvania Commonwealth microbiologist Kerry Pollard performs a manual extraction of the coronavirus inside the extraction lab at the Pennsylvania Department of Health Bureau of Laboratories on March 6.

Pennsylvania will deploy COVID-19 testing strike teams to counties in problem areas without health departments in another effort to corral the virus.

Washington, Greene and Fayette counties were not among the first areas to be assigned one of the strike teams that will work over the next 12 weeks.

“The virus is still in charge,” Gov. Tom Wolf said Tuesday when he announced the new program.

The testing sites will be both indoors and outdoors and will be at no cost to those who are tested. The first sites will open today in Bedford, Mifflin, Tioga and Northampton counties.

The virus has killed 10,563 Pennsylvanians this year after 180 new deaths were announced, including three in Fayette. There were no new deaths reported Tuesday in Washington or Greene counties.

The number of new cases continued to climb over the past week as well as the number of hospitalizations because of the virus, Wolf said.

“That puts our health-care system at risk,” Wolf said.

He said the state needs cooperation from the public in fielding questions from contact tracers and taking the threat of the virus seriously.

The state announced 5,676 new cases of the virus Tuesday, 603 of which were in Allegheny County.

Washington County saw 112 new cases, taking its total to 4,721. Greene County added 10 new cases to its total that climbed to 762. Fayette County reported 68 new cases, bringing its total to 2,299.

Staff Writer

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!

Thank you for reading!

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading. If you have a subscription, please Log In.